ripple

verb
rip·​ple | \ ˈri-pəl \
rippled; rippling\ ˈri-​p(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of ripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to become lightly ruffled or covered with small waves
b : to flow in small waves
c : to fall in soft undulating folds the scarf rippled to the floor
2 : to flow with a light rise and fall of sound or inflection laughter rippled over the audience
3 : to move with an undulating motion or so as to cause ripples the canoe rippled through the water
4 : to have or produce a ripple effect : spread the news rippled outwards

transitive verb

1 : to stir up small waves on
2 : to impart a wavy motion or appearance to rippling his arm muscles
3 : to utter or play with a slight rise and fall of sound

ripple

noun

Definition of ripple (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a shallow stretch of rough water in a stream
b(1) : the ruffling of the surface of water
(2) : a small wave
b : a sound like that of rippling water a ripple of laughter
c : a usually slight noticeable effect or reaction

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Other Words from ripple

Verb

rippler \ ˈri-​p(ə-​)lər \ noun

Noun

ripply \ ˈri-​p(ə-​)lē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for ripple

Synonyms: Verb

bubble, dribble, guggle, gurgle, lap, plash, splash, trickle, wash

Antonyms: Verb

pour, roll, stream

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Examples of ripple in a Sentence

Verb

Water rippled under the dock. We could see the lion's muscles ripple. A cool breeze rippled the water.

Noun

The pebble made ripples in the pond when I threw it in.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Still, investors remain concerned that defaults in China’s domestic market could ripple offshore. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "China’s Developers Go on Borrowing Spree," 12 Feb. 2019 Piles of trash, plastic bottles and other unidentifiable refuse can be seen rippling and crashing ashore in video and images posted on social media. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Waves of garbage crash ashore in stunning footage," 15 Aug. 2018 The administration’s action, which could ripple through the education system from prekindergarten through college, was the latest of several measures critics say have eroded civil rights protections in classrooms and on college campuses. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, "Trump administration moves to rescind Obama-era guidance on race in admissions," 3 July 2018 Etalon Group The watery print stretches from facade to facade, like a wave rippling in crests. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Behold, Hokusai’s famous wave print stretching across six buildings," 18 Dec. 2018 What & WhereThe Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s rice basket—a watery landscape of floating markets, stilt houses, Khmer-style pagodas, and rippling green paddies. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Take Your Vietnam Trip to the Next Level," 20 Nov. 2018 Even the odds The loot box crash continues rippling through the industry, with Battlefront II reworking its entire multiplayer model and Shadow of War recently pulling all microtransactions out of the game. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Forza 7 removes loot boxes, Forsaken remastered, and Nintendo sues ROM sites," 27 July 2018 On Friday, July 20, a rumor that the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, had passed away began to ripple through the internet. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How a Rumor About Prince Philip’s Death Went Viral," 26 July 2018 In the darkened gallery, the shadows of the cage’s mesh walls shift, grow, shrink and flow over the walls, ceiling and floor, like rippling water. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "The Sculptures Outside The Wadsworth, Explained," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This created ripples and vibrations that were felt all over. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Concerts this week in Louisville: Pretenders, Fanfare for the 4th & more," 29 June 2018 The panels respond to pressure, so electronic water ripples under each step. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Weed and luxury in Las Vegas," 15 Nov. 2018 With quantum tunneling, the wave nature of protons allows them to overlap ever so slightly, like ripples merging on the surface of a pond. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 The amphibious vessel overturned during a fast-moving summer storm that produced near-hurricane gusts which turned ripples into massive waves. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Branson duck boat operator was warned in 2017 of dangers, inspector says," 22 July 2018 That intense identification between reader and victim ripples violently through McNamara’s book. Megan Abbott, latimes.com, "Why do we — women in particular — love true crime books?," 14 June 2018 These difficulties are having ripples in time; the future that our travelers knew has already been substantially disrupted, putting their knowledge and past allegiances on shaky ground. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Get your binge on: Season 3 of sci-fi gem Travelers is out now," 14 Dec. 2018 For its part, the Fed would like its rate increase to cause no more than a ripple in financial markets. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Warning Sign: Some Investors are Fighting the Fed," 11 Dec. 2018 Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time that are usually caused by two objects rotating around each other. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Ancient black hole collision is the most massive researchers have ever observed," 3 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ripple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ripple

Verb

circa 1671, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1755, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ripple

Verb

perhaps frequentative of rip entry 1

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Learn More about ripple

Statistics for ripple

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ripple

The first known use of ripple was circa 1671

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More Definitions for ripple

ripple

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move in small waves
: to pass or spread through or over (someone or something)

ripple

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ripple (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small wave on the surface of a liquid
: a shape or pattern having small waves
: a sound that gradually becomes louder and then quieter

ripple

verb
rip·​ple | \ ˈri-pəl \
rippled; rippling

Kids Definition of ripple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move or cause to move in small waves The lion's muscles rippled. A breeze rippled the water.
2 : to pass or spread over or through Laughter rippled through the crowd.

ripple

noun

Kids Definition of ripple (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a very small wave on the surface of a liquid The rock made ripples in the pond.
2 : something that passes or spreads through a ripple of laughter

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More from Merriam-Webster on ripple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ripple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ripple

Spanish Central: Translation of ripple

Nglish: Translation of ripple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ripple for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ripple

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